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A Republican Senate May Mean Tough Days For the Fed

Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, listens to a question during a news conference following a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.

Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, listens to a question during a news conference following a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
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As Janet Yellen was preparing to take over the Federal Reserve, she got some advice from the departing chairman, Ben Bernanke: Keep in mind that “Congress is our boss.”

Yellen would do well to heed his words if the Republican Party gains majority control of the Senate in today’s midterm elections, giving fresh impetus to congressional efforts to constrain the Fed’s powers to supervise the financial system and make monetary policy.